Members of the football team at Carroll High School were so upset that a gay student had been named to the Homecoming court they had a group online chat about it.
That chat included suggestions that the gay student should kill himself or ‘just die’ while another player said he’d refuse to stay on the court if the gay student remained.
Their chat last Friday (9 September) was brought to the attention of school officials in Carroll, Iowa, and the players spent the day Monday (12 September) trying to explain their actions.
‘Well I certainly think this gives some individual students a black eye, as well as the football team,’ Carroll Community School District Superintendent Rob Cordes tells TV station KCCI.
‘Did they make a mistake? Absolutely. A big one.’
Student Taylor Moore was among those who spoke with KCCI about the incident.
‘I’m disappointed because he’s a really good guy and he really shouldn’t be called bad names at all,’ Moore said.
The station did not name the gay student but he is reported to have said: ‘This should be a teachable moment for the entire school not just the football players.’
Superintendent Cordes, who has not decided on a punishment, indicated that the players are showing some remorse.
‘There’s a lot of hurting and some of the ones who are hurting are the ones who caused the problem,’ he said.
The first page of the school’s website includes a non-discrimination policy – in bold – that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.